Spirit of Daytona Racing’s campaign in the No. 90 VISITFLORIDA.com Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype has been fairly successful thus far in the 2013 Grand Am Rolex Series. Experienced drivers Richard Westbrook and Ricky Taylor have managed to overcome a decent bit of diversity, and have kept their team in the top tier of finishers at each of this season’s three races.
During the season opener at The Rolex 24 at Daytona, Spirit of Daytona came in just off the podium with a fifth place finish. Westbrook and Taylor were joined by Oliver Gavin and Antonio Garcia for the endurance race, and unfortunately the team experienced more than their fair share of mechanical problems; including the dash lights going out, battery charging issues, and a dragging exhaust that sent sparks flying on just about every banked curve. Spirit of Daytona also finished 3rd out of all the DP corvettes, and this was the best Rolex 24 finish to date for the No. 90 VISITFLORIDA.com Corvette DP.The next race for the Spirit of Daytona team was The Grand Am of The Americas, held at the Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, Texas. The three hour race was the first sprint race of the season for the DP class, and Spirit of Daytona managed to qualify fifth. The team of Westbrook and Taylor ran the DP as high as 3rd place during the race, but a late penalty for contact saw their hopes of a good finish slip away. In the end, Spirit of Daytona finished 11th overall in the DP class.
At the Porsche 250 this past weekend at Barber Motorsports Park, Spirit of Daytona was hoping for a repeat of their performance at this race in 2012 where they won it all. This year the No. 90 Corvette DP looked to be in good position to do just that by qualifying second. During the race Taylor and Westbook found themselves in a race against fuel consumption after choosing to stay on the track when the other Corvette DPs took to the pits for fuel. The strategy paid off, and the No. 90 VISITFLORIDA.com Corvette inherited the lead, and led for a total of 24 laps.
However, when they finally did stop for fuel Spirit of Daytona slid all the way down to 10th place. It would be nothing less than Westbrook’s skill and experience behind the wheel that would quickly move the No. 90 DP all the way back up to third place. That was exactly where the No. 90 Corvette DP would finish, in spite of still operating in fuel conservation mode. This would be the sixth Grand Am Rolex Series podium finish for the relatively young Spirit of Daytona Team.
As things sit now, Spirit of Daytona Racing sits in 5th place in the points race, and Ricky Taylor and Richard Westbrook are also tied for 5th in driver points. Next week the team will be racing at Road Atlanta where a good finish could potentially propel them into the top three in the team standings.